By Christina Napoli, Features Editor
Bid day for spring recruitment has come and gone. The bids have been handed out in envelopes in Slayter. The “drive arounds” have been made up Presidential Drive. And in the next couple weeks, the young men and women with bids will be initiated into the brotherhoods and sisterhoods on campus.
Although fraternity and sorority recruitment converged on Bid Day when men and women received their bids in envelopes, it is popularly known that the recruitment processes that lead there are quite different.
Delta Delta Delta sorority member Emily Hayes ’16 from Madison, New Jersey said, “For sorority recruitment there’s a Greek Values, Skit Round, and Final Parties. It is very structured so the girl can meet as many people in the house as possible. So she can see if she’s a good fit for the house and so can we.”
The fraternity rush process at Denison is unique in its informality. While sorority rush has only three distinct events, fraternity rush is a lot less structured.
“I like the frat rush process way more than the [sorority] rush process just because I feel like you can really become friends with and know the kids before they join rather then interviewing them and not being able to get to know them,” said Zach Rothschild ’15, a member of Delta Chi fraternity.
During the first few weeks of second semester, the fraternities hold open and optional events for the men who signed up for recruitment to get to know the fraternity.
The words used by fraternity members across the board to describe fraternity recruitment were “relaxed”, “casual”, and “laid-back.”
Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity member Michael Vawter ’14 from Westerville, Ohio said, “The rush process is really just designed to help us get to know the underclassmen, and for them to get to know us. It is very laid-back, and you really get out whatever you put in.”
The fraternity members stress the importance of conversation at these events. It is the potential new member’s opportunity to get to know the fraternities, and the fraternities’ opportunity to see if the fraternity’s values align with the potential new member.
Delta Chi pledge Hank Tran ’17 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania explained his experience with the process. “You meet brothers of all kinds and connect on the basis of values, trust and passion. We spoke to one another, bonded, played a little broomball and there were a few dinners. Some could see it as a bro-speed-dating process really.”
The kinds of events held range from fraternity to fraternity. Popular ones, however, are group dinners, rock-climbing, broomball matches, golfing, and bowling.
Phi Delta Theta Briggs King ’15 from Evanston, Illinois recounted a bowling event they had. King said, “We had a night where we took the kids bowling. The bowling was fun. We broke the rushies and actives into teams and competed for a prize.”
In addition to these outings, some fraternities have been beginning to add more organization to their recruitment processes.
Vawter said, “We have also been trying to add a little bit more structure to it as well, though. In recent years, we have had a joint-fraternity open house, where potential recruits can go around to open houses at multiple fraternities and introduce themselves to guys.”
Sororities have had similar events in past years but recently Denison Panhellenic has halted this aspect of sorority recruitment.
There seems be a consensus that the laid-back atmosphere of fraternity rush does enhance the recruitment process. The openness and optionality of the events creates a very inclusive atmosphere.
But the casualness does also have the potential to be a drawback of fraternity recruitment.
When the fraternity brothers were asked about whether they believed there were any cons to the recruitment process, Beta Theta Pi fraternity member Dylan Haessly ’15 of Rocky River, Ohio explained, “Obviously those signed up for fraternity rush can choose to only attend none, one, or all fraternity events, unlike with sorority rush, and that may create missed opportunities.”
There has been talk by the IFC (The Interfraternity Council) about a redesigning of the rush process but there has been no official statement or action made.
Beta Theta Pi pledge Patrick Dunn ’17 from Saline, Michigan said, “Prior to rushing, I was on the fence about joining a fraternity, but the rush process definitely helped me to decide that if I were to get a bid I would join. Overall, the recruitment process was a really good experience.”